We’ve been watching the weather since returning to Emerald Bay. We’re trying to make Turks and Caicos by Christmas. The trouble with that is that the winds are directly from the direction of Turks and Caicos (Southeast) for the next week. They are forecast to be in the 13-17 knot range. We always add at least 2 or 3 knots to the forecast because invariably that turns out to be the case. As we value our comfort highly, we aren’t really looking forward to banging directly into the seas for 240 nautical miles. And once the southeasterlies abate, a strong cold front is moving through with forecasted NNW winds of 25-30 knots. We definitely don’t want to be out in that either. Things on a sailboat seem to break when the seas get rough. And… things seem to fly off the boat as well. On the way down to Emerald Bay, we had one of our bow cushions fly overboard. Neither of us saw it go, so there was no attempting to save it.
So, here’s the plan as it stands now (And, it is definitely subject to change along with the weather). We are going to sail the 45 nautical miles easterly to Conception Cay tomorrow morning. We will likely anchor there for the night and spend the day there on Tuesday. Then, we will probably then on Tuesday evening and motorsail into the winds making for Atwood Harbour on Acklins Island, aiming to arrive on Wednesday evening. From there we’ll tuck in to a protected anchorage from the continued southeastern winds for a couple of days. As soon as the winds start to die down from the approach of the strong cold front (probably Saturday), we’ll head out on an ESE direction to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos. We’ll have to make sure we beat the approaching cold front which is scheduled to make it down to the Turks on Sunday. We don’t want to have to enter into Providenciales with 25-30 knot winds.
So, that’s the plan for now anyway. It is, as aforementioned, subject to revision. I don’t believe Conception Island has any wifi or cell service. So, we’ll probably keep with the plan until we, at least, arrive in Atwood Harbour.
Yesterday, was a mixed day of work and pleasure. We spent the morning installing our IridiumGo! satellite phone/data receiver. It is completely installed, but unfortunately I could not activate it since it was the weekend. During the afternoon, we walked over to Emerald Bay’s white crescent beach to spend an hour or two in the water and on the sand. It was wonderful! After dinner at Palapa Grill, we returned to the boat to watch the old “Miracle on 34th Street.”
Today, we rented a car to buy provisions for our upcoming trip down to Turks and Caicos. We were running low on several items, especially since our freezer went out while we were gone and ruined much of our food. By the way, it appears there is a short in the 12 volt cord. I plugged it into our AC outlets, and it works fine. I’ll have to work on that DC cord. We then did a couple of loads of laundry at the marina. And, finally we enjoyed a delicious spaghetti dinner prepared by my lovely bride.
If nothing changes by tomorrow morning, we’ll leave the marina and start the next leg of our journey. We’ll not have wifi for at least two or three days, so the next update will follow when possible.